Winter Blues Festival is Victoria’s free 18-stage answer to Bluesfest

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Winter Blues Festival is Victoria’s free 18-stage answer to Bluesfest

Winter Blues Festival
Words by Talia Rinaldo

One of the biggest blues events in Australia, the Echuca-Moama Winter Blues festival makes its triumphant return for 2022.

The beautiful river port town of Echuca Moama is a busy destination year-round, with people flocking from all over Australia to enjoy a glass of wine in the local wineries, dine in the many gourmet restaurants, and relive a little bit of the past as they explore the historic paddle steamer port.

But over the weekend of 28-31 July, 2022 Echuca Moama will transform into the home of the Blues. The Winter Blues Festival is in its 23rd year in 2022 and Echuca Moama is ready to welcome 20,000 music lovers as they stroll around listening to around 50 of Australia’s best artists performing for free on 18 stages in the venues and public spaces of the town. With a number of venues participating in the festivities, the beauty is that each place hosts different musical acts from the 2022 lineup, ensuring a different ambience and vibe for a clever and diverse experience.

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At the top of the bill are festival faves 19-Twenty, acoustic guitar kingpin Lloyd Spiegel with his new trio, The Lachy Doley Group – a showcase for organist-to-the-stars Lachy Doley, and Southern rock orchestra FOOLS – who have been packing Melbourne venues of late. They’ll be joined by the cream of the crop of award-winning Australian blues talent – including Geoff Achison & The Souldiggers, Sweet Felicia & The Honeytones, Shane Pacey Trio, Collard Greens and Gravy, The McNaMarr Project, and many more.

Closing the Echuca Moama Winter Blues Festival is the annual Wrap Up Party, featuring a star studded line up of featured artists, collaborating and jamming in true blues style.

The McNaMarr Project are hosting the show, with performances from Jesse Valach, Lachy Doley, Shane Pacey, Justin Yap + Nardia, Jarrod Shaw, Anna Scionti, Frank Sultana & Sweet Felicia. This is the only ticketed event for the entire weekend (all proceeds from ticket sales go back in to the festival), but we can promise you it’s worth it.

Most importantly, the festival is about exploring the town and immersing yourself in Echuca as much as into blues music. If you’re between acts, don’t forget to take your time and really explore the heritage centre of the city. Aside from the beautiful Murray River as the backdrop, the paddle steamers are an absolute must – with daily and overnight cruises.

It’s a rite of passage to take a trip down the river on a paddle steamer and then finish it off at the Echuca Heritage Sweet company for every lolly you can imagine. Don’t forget to travel across the border into Moama as well, with this tiny town offering plenty to keep you there for several hours.

Winter Blues Festival full lineup

19 Twenty
Aaron Pollock
Andrew Farrell (Piano Wizard)
Anna Scionti
Backwood Creatures
Bag O’ Nails
Benny James & The Blue Flames
Bill Barber
Broderick Smith
Checkerboard Lounge
Collard Greens and Gravy
Dan Dinnen
Electric Blues Collective
Escolita Soul
Frank Sultana
Geoff Achison & The SoulDiggers
Heavy Medicine
Jarrod Shaw
Jesse Redwing
Jules Boult & The Redeemers
Julian James & The Moonshine State
Kelly Auty & The Extraordinary Gentlemen
Kings & Associates
The Lachy Doley Group
Lloyd Spiegel
Matt Katsis
Nardia Rose Band
Nick Charles
Paul Buchanan’s Voodoo Preachers
Pete Cornelius Band
Phil Para Band
Sammy Owen Blues Band
Shane Pacey Trio
Sweet Felicia & The Honeytones
The Hoodoomen
The McNaMarr Project
White Lightning

The Echuca-Moama Winter Blues Festival runs from July 28 – 31 2022. You can view the full artist lineup, the list of participating venues and the weekend schedule online here